Water Quality

Water quality assessment is an important method to monitor the quality of water in the environment. There are three type of water characteristics that can be measured which are physical, chemical and biological aspects. By analyzing these elements, scientists could determine the quality of the water whether it is good or bad and also could ensure the suitability of its particular use whether it is safe or not. Generally, people really need water in their daily lives especially for drinking, cooking, and washing. Frequent exposure to a bad water quality can pose a health risk for human, aquatic lives and ecosystems. Thus, it is important to check the water quality level in the area where the community live.

Research Background

For this project, the type of water that will be analyzed is the lakes water inside IIUM Kuantan Campus. Lakes in IIUM Kuantan Campus mostly have used for aesthetic purposes and recreational activities such as fishing and kayaking. So, it will be dangerous for human to use the lakes as the safety of the lakes water are still unknown. Based on National Lake Water Quality Criteria and Standards 2015 (NLWQCS), there are four categories of lake water which are category A, B, C and D. Besides that, the quality of lakes water also can be influenced by other factors such as weather, usage of fertilizer for agriculture and improper discharged of untreated sewage water into the lakes. So, this project will target the lake in front of Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque, beside the IIUM Kuantan Campus main entrance gate and also the lake in front of Mahallah Talhah and Maimunah as the sites of water sampling. This project is a part of bigger study which focus on the physical and chemical characteristics of the lakes water in IIUM Kuantan Campus.

Department of Environmental Requirement

National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) has established National Lake Water Quality Criteria and Standards (NLWQCS), for the lake water quality assessment in Malaysia. Based on NLWQCS (2015), this guideline is intended to provide the required information in making judgements as to the fitness of lake water for human protection of recreational purposes and ecosystem health for the diversity or aquatic life protection. This standards are applicable to any lake or reservoir, dams, ponds and other impoundments water of any usage or purposes located in Malaysia.

There are several requirement to be fulfilled in order to do the lake water quality research which are the sampling method must be based on the need to capture the ambient conditions of the lakes, the sampling must be done according to APHA (1999) Standards, the laboratory performing the analysis for lake monitoring should be accredited to the standard of “Skim Akreditasi Makmal Malaysia”, (SAMM) 17025, and the sampling location must be a representative of the lake.

Physical Properties of the Lakes

According to the NLWQCS (2015), the physical properties of the lakes that must be measured are colour, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, DO percentage saturation, odour, pH, taste, temperature, total suspended solid, turbidity, transparency, oil and grease. Most of the listed physical parameters can be measured in situ by using Hydrolab MS-5 (Ashraf et al., 2010). For certain constituents and physical values, immediate analysis in the field is required because the values might change according to time and ambient condition of collection (APHA, 1999). For example, the temperature of the lake is much warmer during the day. According to APHA (1999), to record the general physical appearance of lake samples, briefly describe its visible characteristics by using any appropriate terms available. It is recommended to use numerical values if available.